Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr Lesson!

I realized today that I forgot to share about my MLK Jr lesson on Friday! I even took pictures, and then forgot all about it - well I remembered today, so, better late then never, right?

I start with 3 different colors of paper and matching crayons for those colors. I did red, white and black:


Bring everyone to carpet and hand each child a paper and make sure they get the matching color crayon. At this point some of my smarties begin to mutter about white not showing up on white paper etc. Ignore the mutters and settle in to read one of the best books ever:


Seriously love this book! The pictures are so beautiful, and the story is told simply yet poignantly.

Instruct the children that they have to draw a beautiful picture while you read aloud. Start reading and see what happens. In past years I haven't gotten even a page into the book before the muttering revs up, finally culminating in one brave soul who will cry out "Mrs. Knopf I can't use the white crayon on white paper!" or red crayon on red paper etc.

This year however, my kiddos were all working very hard to try to get those darn crayons to show up, so I had to intervene and ask one of them point blank "Jimmy Bob, why aren't you drawing, I told you to draw me a beautiful picture!" At this point he earnestly explained that he was trying, it was just hard to see.

Most years, the kids come up with the solution to switch crayons on their own. This year's class needed a little help to come to that conclusion, but finally suggested it. I acted aghast that they would want to mix their crayon and paper colors - "You mean you're going to use the white crayon on red paper?!" and they assured me that it was, in fact, a good idea.  I allowed the switch of crayons, furrowing my brow in worry until a few of them demonstrated that it was working and they would draw me a great picture.


The kids keep drawing as I read, eventually getting so pulled into the book that their crayons drop by the wayside and they sit, struggling to comprehend - "You mean she couldn't sit anywhere she wanted on the bus?" "Why were people like that?" and finally "He died?!"


The discussion that takes place afterward is priceless. We talk about all the things we'd miss out on if it hadn't been for MLK Jr. Students who wouldn't be best friends, or even classmates any more, having to use a different restroom or water fountain etc. It truly is one of the best group discussions we have all year.

This year, rather than continue on with another book (I usually do "The Crayon Box That Talked" and have everyone decorate a crayon template) I chose to make a great craftivity from Susan Moran's MLK Jr unit. I really wanted to get the kids writing about their dreams. I stressed that this was supposed to be a serious dream - not one about having a bath with a purple and pink poodle! I think they turned out awesome, so I'm sharing a few of them with you tonight:

I can totally see this little girl growing up to be a firefighter - she is very determined!

First off, love that she used a contraction correctly, secondly, I never knew she aspired to be an artist! I will have to provide more free art time!


This little guy is one of my strugglers - I was so proud of him for getting 3 complete sentences down!



I am first in line for a $1 house!

He sounded out "hippopotamuses" by himself!

This little girl is always belting out the tunes when we sing - I love that music  brings her such joy!



This little guy wants to be a nurse, but he'll make sure to wait for the doctor when he helps people. I just loved it!


That's it, just a little peek :)  I am so lucky to be a teacher!


10 Rustle Up A Response!:

Mrs Cupcake said... Reply to comment

It sounds like your class really enjoyed your lesson! I love the idea!!
❤Teri
A Cupcake for the Teacher

Holly said... Reply to comment

I'm in love with the crayons/paper idea!!!!!

Holly
Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Susan Moran said... Reply to comment

So cute!! Thank you for the shout out and that crayon idea is SO creative - I have never heard of that before!

Kristin said... Reply to comment

So glad you remembered to share this lesson! The paper/crayon idea is amazing!!!

School Sparks Renee said... Reply to comment

Thanks for sharing this amazing lesson. The crayon/paper lesson is new to me and I think it's great! Renee

sm said... Reply to comment

Genius! Thanks for the ideas!!

K Wainscott said... Reply to comment

Wonderful even us "seasoned" t teachers appreciate a new idea ♡♡♡

Deldreqka Scott said... Reply to comment

This is such a great lesson! Great job!

Terry said... Reply to comment

The crayon/paper idea is such a great idea. I love the writing and ideas they came up with as well. Thanks for sharing!

Lyndsay Ellison said... Reply to comment

This is phenomenal! I love it!

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